Are you a code monkey?

Despite my appreciation of Stackoverflow, I can never see myself agreeing with Jeff Atwood on anything substantial. A post of his that is still featured in my regular nightmares is the one titled We Are Typists First, Programmers Second.

He says:

When you’re a fast, efficient typist, you spend less time between thinking that thought and expressing it in code.

That might matter, but, frankly, what I encounter regularly are people who really ought to think hard and long about what they are about to type, and, then, when it is time to type that, think another half an hour before touching a keyboard.

Because, otherwise, they end up generating a 500,000,000 line CSV file from a database by just inserting commas between text fields, as in, VAR1 || ',' || VAR2 || ',' ….

When the source data contains single character flag fields whose “specification” dates back decades to some COBOL thing where they ran out letters and numbers a long time ago, you sometimes get, say, 100 rows with more commas than expected.

But, the code monkey don’t care!

He typed that SELECT fast. Put the dump on a server, remembering to use SFTP (of course, self-signed certificate), and got back to his typing.

After all, he is a coder. He understands things no one around him understands.

I wish all you coders, typists, brogrammers would just go on a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle.

Don’t be a code monkey!

Typing fast is the LEAST important component of programming.


He goes on to gratuitously attack Perl programmers:

Don’t just type random gibberish as fast as you can on the screen, unless you’re a Perl programmer.

Perl has Text::CSV_XS and Text::xSV. Any programmer who is aware of these modules would not waste others’ time with nonsense.